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64                  HISTORY OF PERSIA
c thou art a meddlesome fellow, and perhaps thou may'st
assist some other lion, and it may drive me from my
hunting ground.'" Abu Muslim replied that, if he
ceased to care for the tender sapling he had planted,
passers-by would pluck it up. He thereupon returned
to Court, where, after listening to reproaches from the
Caliph in the most violent terms, he was cut to pieces.
Thus perished, at the early age of thirty-five, the man
to whose genius and devotion the house of Abbas mainly
owed its success. Retribution may have been due for the
blood of thousands of opponents slain by his orders, but
he had served his masters with consistent loyalty and rare
devotion, and his fate brands Abu Jafar us guilty of the
blackest ingratitude.
The Rebellions in Persia^ A.H. 138 (756), and A.H.
141-143 (758-760).—In A.H, 138 (756) a rebellion
broke out in Persia, Sindbad, a follower of the old re-
ligion, having collected a force to avenge his master
Abu Muslim, who, he stated, upon being threatened by
Mansur, had pronounced the " Most Great Name" of
God, and had flown away in the form of a white clove.
For some three months Sindbad held the country from
Rei to Nishapur, and the rebellion was not crushed until
sixty thousand of his followers had been killed. Three
years later the Governor of Khorasan rebelled, but was
defeated by Ibn Khuzayma, with whom was associated
Mehdi, the Caliph's son and eventual successor* It is an
indication of the growing importance of Khorasan that
Mehdi was afterwards appointed its Governor. The
Sipahbud1 of Tabaristan, with whom Sindbad had taken
refuge after his defeat, and to whose care the treasure of
Abu Muslim had been entrusted, also rebelled, with the
result that Tabaristan was conquered by the Moslems
and the Sipahbud in despair took poison*
The Ravandi$, A.H. 141 (758).—It was about this time
that a strange Persian sect which believed in the trans-
migration of souls and held that the Caliph -was
temporarily inhabited by the Deity, suddenly invaded the
palace of Mansur, crying out, " It is the house of our
1 Fid* Chapter XLIII,